NEA Announces $1 Million in Grants to Support Community Reading Programs Nationwide

“It is inspiring to see both large and small communities across the nation come together around a book.”

 

The National Endowment for the Arts has announced $1 million in grant funding to support community reading programs across the country. The grants, part of the NEA Big Read program, will benefit seventy-eight organizations in thirty-one states taking place between September 2019 and June 2020.

 

The NEA Big Read is a National Endowment for the Arts initiative in partnership with Arts Midwest, which manages the grant program. Since 2006, more than 5.7 million Americans have attended an NEA Big Read event. Each NEA Big Read grantee has selected a title from the NEA Big Read library and will hold a variety of events and discussions designed to both highlight the book and encourage participation among a wide range of community members. Among the books selected this year are Hope Jahren’s Lab Girl, Ernest Gaines’ A Lesson Before Dying, Joy Harjo’s How We Became Human, and Nathaniel Philbrick’s In the Heart of the Sea.

 

The Texas grant recipients are:

 

Cross Plains Public Library was awarded $5,000 and chose as their Big Read In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick.

 

Dallas Public Library was awarded $15,000 and chose Into the Beautiful North by Luís Alberto Urrea.

 

Nacogdoches Public Library was awarded $13,800 and chose Into the Beautiful North.

 

The University of Texas at El Paso was awarded $15,000 and also chose Into the Beautiful North.

 

“It is inspiring to see both large and small communities across the nation come together around a book,” said National Endowment for the Arts Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “We always look forward to the unique ways cities, towns, and organizations explore these stories and encourage community participation in a wide variety of events.”

 

The 2019-2020 grants range from $5,000 to $15,000 and will reach communities ranging from Dallas, Texas, to Juneau, Alaska, to Beaver Island, Michigan, which has a population of 551. Grantees range from libraries and universities to museums and other arts organizations. A third of this year’s grantees have never before received an NEA Big Read grant.

 

For more information on grants, please see the following:

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support give Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more.